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Muskingum College commencement speaker Reverend Dr. Thomas K. Tewell presents ideas For Such a Time as This . . .


MAY 10, 2004 - At Muskingum College's 159th Commencement held May 8th, 330 students received their undergraduate degrees and heard Muskingum College graduate Reverend Dr. Thomas K. Tewell deliver the commencement address titled For Such A Time As This . . . Reverend Tewell is senior pastor at The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, New York.

Reverend Tewell graduated from Muskingum in 1970 and received his master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973. Today, he serves the seminary as a Trustee, as well as a member of its Academic Affairs, Financial Affairs and Personnel Committees. Reverend Tewell earned his doctor of ministry from Drew Theological Seminary in 1986. Muskingum College granted him an honorary doctor of humane letters in 1995, and in 2002 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor Muskingum College can bestow on an alumnus.

He became senior pastor of The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1994 and, in that role, has been asked to lead seminars on preaching for pastors at theological seminars and to preach at conferences and in congregations across the United States.

Muskingum College President Anne C. Steele welcomed the graduating class and said, "As you leave Muskingum, you take with you a cornerstone that will serve you well and provide a foundation for your life."

Reverend Tewell's commencement address focused on the need for the graduates to understand that they are entering a complex and sometimes troubled world where not only their skills, but their good spirits are badly needed. He said, "This is a very special time for you, just as it is for the world. You are called today to make a difference, at such a time as this. You go out into a world that is starving for leadership and decency. Everything that has been given to you is a gift that you must use wisely."

After the address, Muskingum College Board of Trustees Chairman Harold W. Burlingame presented a resolution recognizing Reverend Tewell's life contributions.

Ryan J. Donaghy '04 was chosen by her fellow students to represent the graduating class.

The charge to the graduating class was presented by Associate Professor of Speech Communication Eugene L. Alesandrini.

The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. Muskingum College alumnus Dr. Brockton Jeffrey Hefflin delivered the sermon, titled Reflections on Adventurous Living. He said, "The key to an adventurous life is to pursue your passions by being prepared and willing to accept challenges. Always discipline yourself to expand your faculties and your knowledge. Relative to the vast majority of the people in the rest of the world, you have much, but that gift comes with responsibilities."

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a 1984 Muskingum alumnus, Dr. Hefflin has distinguished himself as a leader in the area of public health policy and as an international citizen.

From 1991 to 1993, Dr. Hefflin served as a Medical Officer at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and, since 1995, as a Medical Officer in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the United States Food and Drug Administration. In these professional roles, his work focused on the field of medical epidemiology. He participated in formulating national policies to monitor community health and to prevent or control the distribution of disease.

At commencement, the college conferred upon Dr. Hefflin an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree, in recognition of his lifetime of work.

Anthony Lorenz '04 read the scripture for baccalaureate.